When the NCAA March Madness tournament got underway, there were 17 players who came from the land Down Under, an impressive number to be sure.
Now that the one-and-done tournament has eliminated all but 16 teams, that number has been whittled down to five, mainly due to the team from Arizona dispatching seven Aussies by downing the St. Mary’s Gaels.
One of those five remaining Aussies plays for Arizona. He is Keanu Pinder of Perth, whose father Kendal played professionally in the NBL with the Sydney Supersonics and the Perth Wildcats. He plays mainly the small forward position, spelling for the starters.
Jo Lual Acuil Jr. of Melbourne plays a prominent role for the Baylor Bears. He scored 16 points in the Bears’ first round win against New Mexico State.
Isaac Humphries of Caringbah plays for powerhouse Kentucky, mainly in a supporting role at centre.
Gorjok Gak, who hails from Sydney, has earned more playing time in the tournament, making high percentage shots around the rim without once missing a shot.
Ran Tut of Melbourne plays for South Carolina’s Gamecocks. He is a junior on a team with exceptional depth, so he sees only limited action, playing in only 12 games this season. The Gamecocks defeated Duke in the second round and will move on to face the winner of the Wisconsin v Florida game.